When we write an email or a letter, how do we identify ourselves? What title do we give ourselves?
Would we ever call ourselves a “slave,” as Paul does in his opening to the letter to the Romans?
Would we ever identify ourselves in terms of our relationship to Christ, as utterly dependent on him for grace and for energy and for commitment and strength—as not the Lords of ourselves, not responsible for our own accomplishments?
How do we think of ourselves off the page, in our hearts?
Secretly, do we think of ourselves as nothing, as worthless, as not good enough? Is that why we brag and inflate and puff ourselves up in public or on the screen?
How do we think of the people we are addressing? Do we think of the members of the committee we’re copying on the email as “beloved of God,” as “called to be holy”? Or do we think of them as enemies, or rivals, or less than we are, or more?
We live in an age when public discourse and private discourse has been degraded and corrupted and reduced to name-calling and falseness. We live in an age when everyone from children to public figures seem to be participating in or victimized by some kind of generalized, pervasive cyber-bullying.
That’s not who we are. That’s not the path to holiness.
Everything we are is defined by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and everything other people are is defined by the resurrection, too, and that should determine the ways we think of ourselves and what we call ourselves and that should determine the ways we think of others and the ways we address them.
Chris, a slave of Christ Jesus, or trying to be, praying to be, called to holiness as we are all called to holiness–to all the beloved of God in Corvallis, to all who are called to belong to Jesus Christ: grace to you and peace8